On tap at Ambulance, hazy beige New England-styled pale ale brings slightly salted sour gooseberry, green grape and guava tartness to the fore as mild cantaloupe-honeydew sweetness flutters in viscous lactic setting. Dank hop resin adds to the mellow bittering and soft white wheated pilsner malting provides bready base.
On tap at Growler & Gill, bright ‘n lively dry-hopped Imperial IPA lets lemony grapefruit rind bittering take hold before juicy orange zesting and tangy guava-papaya-passionfruit-tangerine tropicalia gains waxy crayon oiling, spruce-tipped pine resin and mild herbal musk above buttery pale malts.
EXETER, RHODE ISLAND
Crafting some of the finest New England-styled India Pale Ales imaginable, Exeter’s bucolic hideaway, TILTED BARN BREWERY, became Rhode Island’s first farmhouse brewery in 2016 and now thrives as a well-respected hop-head haven. Down an unpaved country road in a wood-furnished, gray-shingled, cement-floored barn (with an olden metal stove and mezzanine seating), Tilted Barn’s got a long line forming for bottled-canned fare during my initial 1-hour August ’18 sojourn.
On this sunny Friday afternoon, each IPA (and one pale ale) available featured a billowy soft-tongued gentleness and well-balanced flavor profile. Fear not dark ale lovers, they sometimes dabble in stouts.
For starters, buoyant yellow glaze-hazed Peeptoad Pale Ale will please gentler palates with its zesty lemon punch, bittersweet peach-apricot-tangerine conflux, earthen floral herbage and mildly creamed pale malting.
Four popular IPA’s then caught my attention. Another soft-toned yellow-clouded winner, dry-hopped Milo’s Phoenix IPA allowed lemony grapefruit-clementine tanginess to saturate resinous pine, picking up juicy mango, guava, cantaloupe, honeydew and kiwi undertones above its pilsner malt base.
Effervescent citrus zest guarded amber golden-fogged Fermented #2 Double IPA (with Galaxy and Nelson hops), leaving lightly pungent pine oiling in its wake.
Resiliently soothing golden-hazed medium body, The Other One Double IPA, let mild spruce-tipped citrus hop bittering gain subtle caramel malt sugaring as its zesty mango, orange, grapefruit and pineapple tropicalia strengthens.
Arguably the best choice, masterfully designed Cactus, a bold Imperial IPA, tempered its pungent pine resin, grassy-hopped musk and peppery floral perk with orange-juiced pineapple-mango-peach-guava tropicalia, candy-glazed caramel malts and kiwi-like cactus snips.
So make the journey down the old dusty trail to Tilted Barn and take your taste buds for a whirl.